The King\

The King's Selfishness. Defeat of the Czar. Death of Catinat. Last

НазваниеThe King's Selfishness. Defeat of the Czar. Death of Catinat. Last
Дата конвертации10.08.2012
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The King's Selfishness.--Defeat of the Czar.--Death of Catinat.--Last

Days of Vendome.--His Body at the Escurial.--Anecdote of Harlay and the

Jacobins.--Truce in Flanders.--Wolves.


Settlement of the Spanish Succession.--Renunciation of France.--Comic

Failure of the Duc de Berry.--Anecdotes of M. de Chevreuse.--Father

Daniel's History and Its Reward.


The Bull Unigenitus.--My Interview with Father Tellier.--Curious

Inadvertence of Mine.--Peace.--Duc de la Rochefoucauld.--A Suicide in

Public.--Charmel.--Two Gay Sisters.


The King of Spain a Widower.--Intrigues of Madame des Ursins.--Choice of

the Princes of Parma.--The King of France Kept in the Dark.--Celebration

of the Marriage.--Sudden Fall of the Princesse des Ursins.--Her Expulsion

from Spain.


The King of Spain Acquiesces in the Disgrace of Madame des Ursins.--Its

Origin.--Who Struck the Blow.--Her journey to Versailles.--Treatment

There.--My Interview with Her.--She Retires to Genoa.--Then to Rome.--



Sudden Illness of the Duc de Berry--Suspicious Symptoms.--The Duchess

Prevented from Seeing Him.--His Death.--Character.--Manners of the

Duchesse de Berry.


Maisons Seeks My Acquaintance.--His Mysterious Manner.--Increase of the

Intimacy.--Extraordinary News.--The Bastards Declared Princes of the

Blood.--Rage of Maisons and Noailles.--Opinion of the Court and Country.


The King Unhappy and Ill at Ease.--Court Paid to Him.--A New Scheme to

Rule Him.--He Yields.--New Annoyance.--His Will.--Anecdotes Concerning

It.--Opinions of the Court.--M. du Maine.


A New Visit from Maisons.--His Violent Project.--My Objections.--He

Persists.--His Death and That of His Wife. --Death of the Duc de

Beauvilliers.--His Character.--Of the Cardinal d'Estrees.--Anecdotes.--

Death of Fenelon.


Let me here relate an incident which should have found a place earlier,

but which has been omitted in order that what has gone before might be

uninterrupted. On the 16th of the previous July the King made a journey

to Fontainebleau, where he remained until the 14th of September. I

should suppress the bagatelle which happened on the occasion of this

journey, if it did not serve more and more to characterize the King.

Madame la Duchesse de Berry was in the family way for the first time,

had been so for nearly three months, was much inconvenienced, and had a

pretty strong fever. M. Fagon, the doctor, thought it would be imprudent

for her not to put off travelling for a day or two. Neither she nor M,

d'Orleans dared to speak about it. M. le Duc de Berry timidly hazarded a

word, and was ill received. Madame la Duchesse d'Orleans more timid

still, addressed herself to Madame, and to Madame de Maintenon, who,

indifferent as they might be respecting Madame la Duchesse de Berry,

thought her departure so hazardous that, supported by Fagon, they spoke

of it to the King. It was useless. They were not daunted, however, and

this dispute lasted three or four days. The end of it was, that the King

grew thoroughly angry and agreed, by way of capitulation, that the

journey should be performed in a boat instead of a coach.

It was arranged that Madame la Duchesse de Berry should leave Marly,

where the King then was, on the 13th, sleep at the Palais Royal that

night and repose herself there all the next day and night, that on the

15th she should set out for Petit-Bourg, where the King was to halt for

the night, and arrive like him, on the 16th, at Fontainebleau, the whole

journey to be by the river. M. le Duc de Berry had permission to

accompany his wife; but during the two nights they were to rest in Paris

the King angrily forbade them to go anywhere, even to the Opera, although

that building joined the Palais Royal, and M. d'Orleans' box could be

reached without going out of the palace.

On the 14th the King, under pretence of inquiry after them, repeated this

prohibition to M. le Duc de Berry and Madame his wife, and also to M.

d'Orleans and Madame d'Orleans, who had been included in it. He carried

his caution so far as to enjoin Madame de Saint-Simon to see that Madame

la Duchesse de Berry obeyed the instructions she had received. As may be

believed, his orders were punctually obeyed. Madame de Saint-Simon could

not refuse to remain and sleep in the Palais Royal, where the apartment

of the queen-mother was given to her. All the while the party was shut

up there was a good deal of gaming in order to console M. le Duc de Berry

for his confinement.

The provost of the merchants had orders to prepare boats for the trip to

Fontainebleau. He had so little time that they were ill chosen. Madame

la Duchesse de Berry embarked, however, on the 15th, and arrived, with

fever, at ten o'clock at night at Petit-Bourg, where the King appeared

rejoiced by an obedience so exact.

On the morrow the journey recommenced. In passing Melun, the boat of

Madame la Duchesse de Berry struck against the bridge, was nearly

capsized, and almost swamped, so that they were all in great danger.

They got off, however, with fear and a delay. Disembarking in great

disorder at Valvin, where their equipages were waiting for there, they

arrived at Fontainebleau two hours after midnight. The King, pleased

beyond measure, went the next morning to see Madame la Duchesse de Berry

in the beautiful apartment of the queen-mother that had been given to

her. From the moment of her arrival she had been forced to keep her bed,

and at six o'clock in the morning of the 21st of July she miscarried and

was delivered of a daughter, still-born. Madame de Saint-Simon ran to

tell the King; he did not appear much moved; he had been obeyed! The

Duchesse de Beauvilliers and the Marquise de Chatillon were named by the

King to carry the embryo to Saint-Denis. As it was only a girl, and as

the miscarriage had no ill effect, consolation soon came.

It was some little time after this occurrence, that we heard of the

defeat of the Czar by the Grand Vizier upon the Pruth. The Czar, annoyed

by the protection the Porte had accorded to the King of Sweden (in

retirement at Bender), made an appeal to arms, and fell into the same

error as that which had occasioned the defeat of the King of Sweden by

him. The Turks drew him to the Pruth across deserts supplied with

nothing; if he did not risk all, by a very unequal battle, he must

perish. The Czar was at the head of sixty thousand men: he lost more

than thirty thousand on the Pruth, the rest were dying of hunger and

misery; and he, without any resources, could scarcely avoid surrendering

himself and his forces to the Turks. In this pressing extremity, a

common woman whom he had taken away from her husband, a drummer in the

army, and whom he had publicly espoused after having repudiated and

confined his own wife in a convent,--proposed that he should try by

bribery to induce the Grand Vizier to allow him and the wreck of his

forces to retreat The Czar approved of the proposition, without hoping

for success from it. He sent to the Grand Vizier and ordered him to be

spoken to in secret. The Vizier was dazzled by the gold, the precious

stones, and several valuable things that were offered to him. He

accepted and received them; and signed a treaty by which the Czar was

permitted to retire, with all who accompanied him, into his own states by

the shortest road, the Turks to furnish him with provisions, with which

he was entirely unprovided. The Czar, on his side, agreed to give up

Azof as soon as he returned; destroy all the forts and burn all the

vessels that he had upon the Black Sea; allow the King of Sweden to

return by Pomerania; and to pay the Turks and their Prince all the

expenses of the war.

The Grand Vizier found such an opposition in the Divan to this treaty,

and such boldness in the minister of the King of Sweden, who accompanied

him, in exciting against him all the chiefs of the army, that it was

within an ace of being broken; and the Czar, with every one left to him,

of being made prisoner. The latter was in no condition to make even the

least resistance. The Grand Vizier had only to will it, in order to

execute it on the spot. In addition to the glory of leading captive to

Constantinople the Czar, his Court, and his troops, there would have been

his ransom, which must have cost not a little. But if he had been thus

stripped of his riches, they would have been for the Sultan, and the

Grand Vizier preferred having them for himself. He braved it then with

authority and menaces, and hastened the Czar's departure and his own.

The Swedish minister, charged with protests from the principal Turkish

chiefs, hurried to Constantinople, where the Grand Vizier was strangled

upon arriving.

The Czar never forgot this service of his wife, by whose courage and

presence of mind he had been saved. The esteem he conceived for her,

joined to his friendship, induced him to crown her Czarina, and to

consult her upon all his affairs and all his schemes. Escaped from

danger, he was a long time without giving up Azof, or demolishing his

forts on the Black Sea. As for his vessels, he kept them nearly all, and

would not allow the King of Sweden to return into Germany, as he had

agreed, thus almost lighting up a fresh war with the Turk.

On the 6th of November, 1711, at about eight o'clock in the evening, the

shock of an earthquake was felt in Paris and at Versailles; but it was so

slight that few people perceived it. In several places towards Touraine

and Poitou, in Saxony, and in some of the German towns near, it was very

perceptible at the same day and hour. At this date a new tontine was

established in Paris.

I have so often spoken of Marshal Catinat, of his virtue, wisdom,

modesty, and disinterestedness; of the rare superiority of his

sentiments, and of his great qualities as captain, that nothing remains

for me to say except that he died at this time very advanced in years,

at his little house of Saint-Gratien, near Saint-Denis, where he had

retired, and which he seldom quitted, although receiving there but few

friends. By his simplicity and frugality, his contempt for worldly

distinction, and his uniformity of conduct, he recalled the memory of

those great men who, after the best-merited triumphs, peacefully returned

to the plough, still loving their country and but little offended by the

ingratitude of the Rome they had so well served. Catinat placed his

philosophy at the service of his piety. He had intelligence, good sense,

ripe reflection; and he never forgot his origin; his dress, his

equipages, his furniture, all were of the greatest simplicity. His air

and his deportment were so also. He was tall, dark, and thin; had an

aspect pensive, slow, and somewhat mean; with very fine and expressive

eyes. He deplored the signal faults that he saw succeed each other

unceasingly; the gradual extinction of all emulation; the luxury, the

emptiness, the ignorance, the confusion of ranks; the inquisition in the

place of the police: he saw all the signs of destruction, and he used to

say it was only a climax of dangerous disorder that could restore order

to the realm.

Vendome was one of the few to whom the death of the Dauphin and the

Dauphine brought hope and joy. He had deemed himself expatriated for the

rest of his life. He saw, now, good chances before him of returning to

our Court, and of playing a part there again. He had obtained some

honour in Spain; he aimed at others even higher, and hoped to return to

France with all the honours of a Prince of the Blood. His idleness, his

free living, his debauchery, had prolonged his stay upon the frontier,

where he had more facilities for gratifying his tastes than at Madrid.

In that city, it is true, he did not much constrain himself, but he was

forced to do so to some extent by courtly usages. He was, then, quite at

home on the frontier; there was nothing to do; for the Austrians,

weakened by the departure of the English, were quite unable to attack;

and Vendome, floating upon the delights of his new dignities, thought

only of enjoying himself in the midst of profound idleness, under pretext

that operations could not at once be commenced.

In order to be more at liberty he separated from the general officers,

and established himself with his valets and two or three of his most

familiar friends, cherished companions everywhere, at Vignarez, a little

isolated hamlet, almost deserted, on the sea-shore and in the kingdom of

Valencia. His object was to eat fish there to his heart's content. He

carried out that object, and filled himself to repletion for nearly a

month. He became unwell--his diet, as may be believed, was enough to

cause this--but his illness increased so rapidly, and in so strange a

manner, after having for a long time seemed nothing that the few around

him suspected poison, and sent on all sides for assistance. But the

malady would not wait; it augmented rapidly with strange symptoms.

Vendome could not sign a will that was presented to him; nor a letter to

the King, its which he asked that his brother might be permitted to

return to Court. Everybody near flew from him and abandoned him, so that

he remained in the hands of three or four of the meanest valets, whilst

the rest robbed him of everything and decamped. He passed thus the last

two or three days of his life, without a priest,--no mention even had

been made of one,--without other help than that of a single surgeon.

The three or four valets who remained near him, seeing him at his last

extremity, seized hold of the few things he still possessed, and for want

of better plunder, dragged off his bedclothes and the mattress from under

him. He piteously cried to them at least not to leave him to die naked

upon the bare bed. I know not whether they listened to him.

Thus died on Friday, the 10th of June, 1712, the haughtiest of men; and

the happiest, except in the later years of his life. After having been

obliged to speak of him so often, I get rid of him now, once and for

ever. He was fifty-eight years old; but in spite of the blind and

prodigious favour he had enjoyed, that favour had never been able to make

ought but a cabal hero out of a captain who was a very bad general, and a

man whose vices were the shame of humanity. His death restored life and

joy to all Spain.

Aguilar, a friend of the Duc de Noailles, was accused of having poisoned

him; but took little pains to defend himself, inasmuch as little pains

were taken to substantiate the accusation. The Princesse des Ursins, who

had so well profited by his life in order to increase her own greatness,

did not profit less by his death. She felt her deliverance from a new

Don Juan of Spain who had ceased to be supple in her hands, and who might

have revived, in the course of time, all the power and authority he had

formerly enjoyed in France. She was not shocked them by the joy which

burst out without constraint; nor by the free talk of the Court, the

city, the army, of all Spain. But in order to sustain what she had done,

and cheaply pay her court to M. du Maine, Madame de Maintenon, and even

to the King, she ordered that the corpse of this hideous monster of

greatness and of fortune should be carried to the Escurial. This was

crowning the glory of M. de Vendome in good earnest; for no private

persons are buried in the Escurial, although several are to be found in

Saint-Denis. But meanwhile, until I speak of the visit I made to the

Escurial--I shall do so if I live long enough to carry these memoirs up

to the death of M. d'Orleans,--let me say something of that illustrious


The Pantheon is the place where only the bodies of kings and queens who

have had posterity are admitted. In a separate place, near, though not

on the same floor, and resembling a library, the bodies of children, and

of queens who have had no posterity, are ranged. A third place, a sort

of antechamber to the last named, is rightly called "the rotting room;"

whilst the other improperly bears the same name. In whilst third room,

there is nothing to be seen but four bare walls and a table in the

middle. The walls being very thick, openings are made in them in which

the bodies are placed. Each body has an opening to itself, which is

afterwards walled up, so that nothing is seen. When it is thought that

the corpse has been closed up sufficiently long to be free from odour the

wall is opened, the body taken out, and put in a coffin which allows a

portion of it to be seen towards the feet. This coffin is covered with a

rich stuff and carried into an adjoining room.

The body of the Duc de Vendome had been walled up nine years when I

entered the Escurial. I was shown the place it occupied, smooth like

every part of the four walls and without mark. I gently asked the monks

who did me the honours of the place, when the body would be removed to

the other chamber. They would not satisfy my curiosity, showed some

indignation, and plainly intimated that this removal was not dreamt of,

and that as M. de Vendome had been so carefully walled up he might remain


Harlay, formerly chief-president, of whom I have so often had occasion to

speak, died a short time after M. de Vendome. I have already made him

known. I will simply add an account of the humiliation to which this

haughty cynic was reduced. He hired a house in the Rue de l'Universite

with a partition wall between his garden and that of the Jacobins of the

Faubourg Saint-Germain. The house did not belong to the Jacobins, like

the houses of the Rue Saint-Dominique, and the Rue du Bac, which, in

order that they might command higher rents, were put in connection with

the convent garden. These mendicant Jacobins thus derive fifty thousand

livres a-year. Harlay, accustomed to exercise authority, asked them for

a door into their garden. He was refused. He insisted, had them spoken

to, and succeeded no better. Nevertheless the Jacobins comprehended that

although this magistrate, recently so powerful, was now nothing by

himself, he had a son and a cousin, Councillors of State, whom they might

some day have to do with, and who for pride's sake might make themselves

very disagreeable. The argument of interest is the best of all with

monks. The Jacobins changed their mind. The Prior, accompanied by some

of the notabilities of the convent, went to Harlay with excuses, and said

he was at liberty, if he liked, to make the door. Harlay, true to his

character, looked at them askance, and replied, that he had changed his

mind and would do without it. The monks, much troubled by his refusal,

insisted; he interrupted them and said, "Look you, my fathers, I am

grandson of Achille du Harlay, Chief-President of the Parliament, who so

well served the State and the Kingdom, and who for his support of the

public cause was dragged to the Bastille, where he expected to be hanged
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